Sunday, April 6, 2014

Science Games and an Interactive Periodic Table

Glaxo Smith Kline's Active Science offers fifteen interactive games covering a range of science topics. There are games appropriate for elementary school, middle school, and high school students. The games for younger students appear at the top of the Active Science list and the games for older students are at the bottom of the list.

The Interactive Periodic Table is a game designed to help chemistry students practice identification of the elements. To play the game students are given some clues about an element's properties. Using those clues the student has to place the element in the correct place on the table.

Applications for Education
Active Science is a nice collection of games that unlike a lot of games are not simple drill activities.

Exploring the Volcanoes of Yellowstone

The USGS in partnership with the University of Utah produces the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory records and publishes data about volcanic activity in Yellowstone National Park. Much of the material on the site is very scientific in nature, but the Observatory website does offer some educational materials accessible to the non-scientist. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory offers three videos about the volcanoes of Yellowstone. The Observatory also offers photographic tours of Yellowstone.

Some other good resources for learning about Yellowstone National Park can be found in Google Earth. Turn on the National Geographic and Streetview layers to some excellent images from within the park.

Applications for Education
Yellowstone National Park is known for its natural wonders. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory provides some resources for high school science teachers to use in teaching about the geology of Yellowstone.

Lesson Plans for Teaching Computational Thinking

Google offers dozens of lessons for exploring computational thinking through the use of Python programming. Now if you're wondering, "what the heck does that mean?" don't worry, I wondered the same. Exploring computational thinking through Python is a series of lessons in which middle school and high school students use the Python programming language to try to put mathematics and science concepts to use.

Applications for Education
Exploring Computational Thinking is a series of lessons for designed to help middle school and high school students explore mathematics and science concepts. Google developed these lessons to use Python. As Google states in their Teacher's Guide Introduction to Python, the reason for using Python is, "A computer program gives students the opportunity to directly apply the algorithms they learn in class and provides them with a tangible reason for using variables rather than specific numbers in math."

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Week in Review - Spring Has Sprung!

Good morning from Maine where spring has finally arrived. The last three afternoons has been warm enough (45F) to sit on my deck with my dogs. They have been very happy to lounge in the sun again. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that the spring weather (or fall weather for my southern hemisphere friends) is treating you well too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Tackk - Create Webpages for Announcements, Assignments, and Digital Portfolios
2. TwistedWave - Create Audio Recordings and Save Them in Google Drive
3. CCSS-Aligned Rubrics for Project Based Learning
4. A Handful of Google Calendar Tutorials for Teachers
5. Two Activities to Help Students Learn About the Cost of Living
6. 7 Online Tools for Creating Charts & Diagrams
7. Four Sources of Print-on-demand Graph Paper

Would you like to come learn with me this summer?
Click here to learn more about the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Class Charts provides a great way to record and analyze student behavior information.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston and Chicago.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
Fresno Pacific University offers a wide variety of technology courses for teachers.

How to Subscribe to Free Technology for Teachers
Subscribe via RSSSubscribe via Email.
Like Free Technology for Teachers on  Facebook.
Find me on Twitter, on Google+, or on Pinterest.

Three Good Resources for Helping Students Learn About and Write Poetry

In my previous post I shared Haiku Deck's list of ideas for teaching poetry with the Haiku Deck web and iPad apps. If Haiku Deck isn't for you, here are a few other good resources for helping students learn about and create poetry.

Scholastic has assembled a big list of lesson resources for teaching poetry this month. One of the resources that I really like is the Poetry Idea Engine. The Poetry Idea Engine is a simple, interactive tool that helps students create four types of poems; haiku, limerick, cinquain, and free verse. To create poem on Poetry Idea Engine students select one of the four formats. If they pick one of the first three format students will be given a short explanation of the pattern before completing the template to create their poems.

The Poetry Foundation offers some helpful resources for teachers and students. One of the resources that immediately jumped out at me when I visited the Poetry Foundation's Learning Lab was the glossary of poetry terms. Students can search the glossary alphabetically, by form & type of poem, by rhyme & meter, by schools & projects, by technique, and by theory or criticism. The Poetry Foundation offers a free mobile app for iOS and Android. The app allows users to search for poems, save poems, and share favorite poems with their friends. You can search for poems by poet, by title, or by entering a line or two of a favorite poem.

Word Mover is a free iPad app and web app from Read Write Think. The app is designed to help students develop poems and short stories. When students open the Word Mover app they are shown a selection of words that they can drag onto a canvas to construct a poem or story. Word Mover provides students with eight canvas backgrounds on which they can construct their poems. If the word bank provided by Word Mover doesn’t offer enough words they can add their own words to the word bank.